You searched for: “oxytocin
oxytocin
1. A hormone produced by the hypothalamus that is stored and released by the pituitary gland. It causes contractions of the uterus and the release of milk from the mammary glands.
2. A smooth muscle contraction-stimulating hormone found in the neurohypophysis.
3. A hormone made in the brain that plays a role in childbirth and lactation by causing muscles to contract in the uterus (womb) and the mammary glands in the breast. Animal studies have shown that oxytocin also has a role in pair bonding, mate-guarding, and social memory.
4. A peptide (a compound consisting of two or more amino acids) that is secreted by the hypothalamus and transported to the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. Oxytocin is related to another hormone called vasopressin.
5. In pharmacy, a commercial form of this substance, obtained from beef and hog pituitary glands or; especially, by synthesis, and used chiefly in obstetrics to induce labor and to control postnatal hemorrhage.
6. Nasally administered oxytocin appears to generate trust in humans.

In a 2005 study, it was shown that in a risky investment game, experimental subjects given the hormone displayed what the researchers deemed "the highest level of trust" twice as often as the control group who were given placebos.

The same experiment with the subjects told that they were interacting with a computer showed no such reaction, leading to the conclusion that oxytocin was not merely affecting risk-aversion.

7. Various anti-stress functions: reducing blood pressure and cortisol levels, increasing tolerance to pain, reducing anxiety.

Oxytocin may play a role in encouraging "tend and befriend", as opposed to "fight or flight", behavior, in response to stress.

oxytocin, oxytokin
An octapeptide, obtained from extracts of the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland and also by synthesis, that is the principal uterine-contracting and lactation-stimulating hormone of the gland.
(be aware of the effects of oxytocin in nasal sprays)
Word Entries containing the term: “oxytocin
Health: Oxytocin Is Found to Have Benefits
Inhaling oxytocin can result in positive reactions.
This entry is located in the following unit: Health: Index of Articles (page 1)